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Foundation distinguished professor recognized with Horace Mann League Outstanding Public Educator Award

Monday, March 13, 2017

LAWRENCE – Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Kansas, has received the 2017 Outstanding Public Educator Award, granted by the Horace Mann League of the USA.

This award recognizes an outstanding national leader and advocate for his or her contributions to improving the nation’s public schools.

The Horace Mann League, founded in 1922, exists to perpetuate the ideals of Horace Mann, the founder of the American public school system. Its basic purpose and activities are to strengthen public schools. More information about the league can be found here.

The Outstanding Public Educator award was presented, among other awards, at the Horace Mann League’s annual meeting and luncheon March 3 in New Orleans. 

Zhao received his doctorate in educational psychology in 1996 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his work focuses on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published more than 100 articles and 30 books. Zhao also serves as a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy at Victoria University in Australia.

“I am humbled and honored by this recognition,” Zhao said. “Not only because it has been given to great educators I admire but also by an organization that dedicates itself to defending and improving public education, the bedrock of America.”

The Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies is housed in the School of Education. The School of Education is a nationally ranked school, preparing educators and health/sport/exercise professionals as leaders.    

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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